Early this offseason, we learned that the New York Mets were interested in then-Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Early reports were that Rollins rejected a trade to the Mets. But after arriving in camp with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rollins' tune appears to have changed.
Rollins spoke to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick today and said something interesting: the Mets were his second choice:
"This was my No. 1 landing spot," Rollins said from Los Angeles' spring training camp, "and I considered the Mets to be No. 2. They have some arms over there -- oh my gosh.
"I'm not saying I would have gone there. It would have taken a lot. But when I was asked, 'Write down the places you would go if you don't have any (no-trade protection),' I had one team on my list and another where I would go if it didn't work out. Fortunately it worked out here (in Los Angeles). I'm very delighted with that."
Why talk about how much Rollins likes the Mets now?
The Mets need a shortstop. Wilmer Flores is going to get the first opportunity for the 2015 Mets, but many feel he lacks the ability to be an every day shortstop. Should Flores fail, they will be back on the market for a shortstop in 2016. Who is going to be a free agent for the 2016? Jimmy Rollins, of course.
The Dodgers do not appear to be looking long-term with Rollins; one of their top prospects is shortstop Corey Seager, who may be ready to take the job in 2016. So, Rollins knows now that he will be looking for a job at the end of the season, when the Mets might be willing to upgrade from Flores.
If you think Rollins looks odd in Dodger blue, just wait and see if Rollins ends up with the Mets in 2016. That may be more difficult to look at. The player that declared the Phillies the "team to beat" over the Mets is projecting the 2016 Mets to be just that.